17:03 GMT27 May 2020
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    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)

    As the Syrian Civil War is slowly approaching its end, various jihadi and rebel groups are being squeezed out of Aleppo. With the tide of terrorists posing as refugees flooding in, Sweden, whose generosity is often abused, has got every reason to expect unwanted guests.

    At present, thousands of people are fleeing Aleppo's rebel-controlled part. Aleppo, Syria's largest city and a major financial and industrial center, has been held by various rebel and terrorist groups ever since the outbreak of the Syrian war, many of them loyal and in fact supported by the US. As the terrorist groups are losing ground inch by inch, a moral defeat looms.

    In areas where the Syrian government recently regained control together with loyal militia forces, the future of the former ‘rebels,' as they are still being portrayed in some Western media, is rather bleak, as the Syrian special services will spare no effort to track down terrorists and insurgents. Many of them are expected to flee and try and seek asylum in Europe.

    Swedish Defense Research Agency, FOI, judged that Daesh is now poised to take the Syrian civil war to Europe. In addition to continued resistance in Aleppo, Daesh is expected to wreak havoc by terrorist attacks in cities such as Stockholm.

    "They will not stop with terrorist attacks in Syria and Iraq, and will be even more determined to carry out terrorist acts against Western Europe," FOI analyst Michael Jonsson said in a video commentary.

    Countries like Germany and Sweden are therefore expected to see a sharp rise in the number of asylum seekers from Syria, just as in 2015, Swedish news outlet Fria Tider predicted. In Sweden, a significant Syrian diaspora, number over 100,000 people in a nation of roughly 10 million was formed in the course of last years, mainly of Syrian refugees. Last year alone, over 50,000 Syrians sought-asylum in Sweden, which in total took in 163,000 asylum seekers. In Germany, Syrian refugees numbered 484,000 out of last year's "bumper crop" of 1.1 million asylum seekers.

    When the Civil War broke out in Syria, Swedish media, in line with their Western colleagues, cheered at the advent of the Arab Spring, when Islamists and criminals started rebellions against their regimes perceived as "undemocratic." Arab Spring took place Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, to name a few, and most often than not ended in disaster.

    In September 2013, Swedish migration authorities ruled that all Syrian asylum-seekers should be granted permanent residency in light of the worsening conflict in Syria. Sweden became thus the first EU-country to make this generous offer. In addition, Syrians with temporary residency, were granted the right to bring their families to Sweden. Malek Laesker, the then-vice chairman of the Syrian Arabian Cultural Association of Sweden welcomed the decision, yet warned of the possible problems citing a nascent people-smuggling market.

    Sweden's somewhat indiscriminate support of the Syrian opposition as "freedom fighters" makes it difficult, if not impossible to deny former jihadis and Daesh associates asylum, because mere participation in the fight against legitimate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be equaled to being a political refugee. Whether a political refugee is also wanted for crimes such as terrorism and genocide is not taken into account in Sweden.

    "If during the investigation of one's application it appears that one is a war criminal or has committed crimes against humanity or other serious criminal offense, or if one is a threat to national security, the applicant is not eligible to get asylum in Sweden. Nevertheless, one can still get a temporary residence permit if one cannot return to their home country because of the risk of execution or persecution," an excerpt from the Swedish Migration Board's asylum regulation said.

    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)


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    jihadist rebels, terrorism threat, Daesh, Bashar al-Assad, Scandinavia, Sweden, Syria, Middle East
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